I decided this old wood front door was going to be perfect as my pantry door! (And I was right!) Last year, I built a pantry in my kitchen and I have been looking for the perfect door for it ever since! I have had this open doorway in my kitchen for close to a year and that nagging feeling of ‘am I ever going to finish this project?’ Thanks to the adorable door that came with the ski chalet, but needed replacing, my pantry project has finally finished!!
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Here are the steps that I took to transform this wood door into a farmhouse style pantry door:
I set up a work area where I wasn’t going to get paint on anything important. A few cinder blocks acted as my support so I could get to all sides of the door to work on it.
I wanted to frost the glass windows so you can’t see the shelves in the pantry. (Have to be able to hide the mess!) There is a frost that comes in a spray paint can (check it out here) that you can get at your local hardware store. I got mine at Home Depot for just a couple of bucks.
Make sure the glass is clean before spraying. Any oils from your fingers or dust on the glass will affect the spray having an even look and sticking to the glass.
I sprayed mine on the back side of the windows where the spray is less likely to get finger prints or splashed by anything. I sprayed a couple of layers. It goes on clear and wet and starts to frost up as it dries. I found it really easy to get an even amount of frosting. None of the windows turned out blotchy or streaky. I didn’t find much of a difference in how frosty the glass looked with each layer.
These pictures show the drying process of the paint. It starts off blotchy, but dries really evenly. These photos were taken over just a few minutes. It dries really fast which is so nice! It makes you feel like your project is really progressing quickly!
I typically receive a lot of help from the chickens…if you don’t have this level of supervision, you need it!
I flipped the door over and started prepping the front for paint!
I taped the windows with green frog tape, which I have found this to work a little bit better than the blue painters tape (if you haven’t seen what I am talking about, check it out here). I removed the door handle hardware. You could tape this if you wanted. I really don’t like taping, so I thought it was just as easy to remove it.
I used a wet rag to wipe down the door to remove any dust or oil from my finger prints. The door does have a really old clear finish on it, but most of it is worn off. You can see what it looked like years ago where the wood and finish was protected by the hardware. Because I am going to distress the door to make it look older, and I don’t want the finish to be perfect, I am not going to bother with sanding the door or stripping the finish. If the paint peels a little bit, that is okay with me. If you do want your paint to look perfect, smooth, and continue looking that way, you would want to look into prepping your wood a little differently.
I then started with the edges and painted a thin layer over the entire door. I find that painting several thin layers works better and the finish ends up looking better with less brush streaks. A foam roller would provide a smooth finish, but I am not aiming for perfection with this paint job, so I used a regular paint brush. I used interior latex paint and I bought the ‘ultra white’ color right off the shelf.
Paint layers 1, 2, and 3!
Now it’s time to distress! This is my favorite part! It gives every piece it’s own character and charm. The best part is it doesn’t have to be perfect! The second best part is if you don’t like it, you can distress more OR paint over and try again!
To distress, I use my orbit sander. Because my paint is bright white, I make sure to start with a fresh piece of sandpaper.
I use the sander at an angle and just lightly brush the paint. Each little pass will take off a little bit of paint. I brush over an area, look at it, and then brush over it again if I want it to be more distressed. If it looks good, I move on. I focus on the edges and corners that would naturally have the paint worn down first. I don’t strip the paint off all of the edges. I leave some intact to make it look more realistic in its wear pattern.
I use my fingers to rub the edges and wipe off the little paint flakes.
I also touched the sander to areas that already had dings/dents in the door. For example, the photo below shows a seam in the door boards that was a little bit worn, so I went ahead and ran the sander edge right in the worn area.
Once I had all of my edges sanded the way that I wanted, I replaced the hardware and removed the tape from my windows. I had a little bit of paint that leaked underneath the tape. A razor blade worked well to scrape off the unwanted paint. If you tape better than me, you might get to skip this step! 🙂
I bought a sliding barn door hardware set off of Amazon (get the same one here) and followed the instructions (for the most part) to hang the door. The first step was measuring the holes and bolting the hardware to the door. The instructions had dimensions for measuring. Mine had to be altered a little bit (side to side) because of the windows, but the holes were measured correctly vertically. You can see in the picture below that it gave the dimensions.
After marking where the holes were, I used a drill bit that was about the same size as the bolt I was putting through the door to drill holes.
I used a ratchet set to bolt the hardware in place. To tighten the nut on the back, I used the ratchet and kept the bolt from twisting with a wrench as I tightened the nut.
Door hardware complete!
Moving on to the wall hardware…
I used a stud finder to mark all of the studs along the area where the door rail will be hanging. If you don’t have one of these with the digital screen, you are missing out! This is a whole new world compared to my old one that randomly beeped, but never in the same spot when trying to find studs. This is the one I have. Whole new world…
I borrowed a laser level from a friend to use for this. Since the door will roll back and forth, it will be pretty obvious if it’s not level. And it will be hard to fix if you get that far and it isn’t level.
I set the laser level up on top of the cabinets across the room and lined it up at the level I wanted the door hung. The level will self level to a certain extent, but needs to sit fairly straight in order to do this. It will flash if it isn’t sitting level enough to be accurate.
When you make it this far into a project and haven’t hit any hiccups yet, you start feeling pretty good about yourself! … and then comes your first challenge. When I held the rail up against the wall, the holes in the rail didn’t line up with the studs in my wall. Ugh…. There is no way this door could be hanging without being attached to the studs.
Plan B: I would attach a board to the wall by screwing it to the studs and attach the barn door rail to the board. Everything should be really secure this way. This was my mom’s genius idea. (Thanks Mom!) Always use your resources!
I happened to have a 1 1/2 inch x 2 1/2 inch board in my shop that was just about the right length! Using the laser level to make sure it was perfectly level, I put 2 screws through the board into each stud.
I filled the holes with wood putty, sanded it after it dried, and then painted the board to match the wall.
While the paint was drying, I decorated my door. I thought it needed some artsy touches. 🙂 I found the “pantry” decal on Amazon for just a couple dollars. I made this little wreath with just a few items from JoAnne’s for less than $14. For a tutorial on making a similar wreath click here.
Next, I adjusted the laser level so the line was exactly in the middle of the board, so the rail would be attached in the center (and be level). With the laser on, I held up the rail and marked where all of my holes would be. I used a drill bit a little bit smaller than the screws that came with the barn door and drilled holes where all of my markings were.
I then used the ratchet again to screw the barn door rail to the wall.
After tightening down all of the screws and making sure the bar is secure, I hung the door!!
This was such a fun project and was completed in one day!!